Max Fordham (1933 – 2022) was a visionary engineer and pioneer of low-energy, sustainable building design.
His courage, intellectual rigour and engaging personality allowed him to form creative partnerships that drove the evolution of environmental design into the mainstream.
Max pursued a new approach to engineering based on his insatiable curiosity about how buildings work. Applying the fundamental principles of physics and an intuitive understanding of the flows of heat, light and air, Max developed approaches for the passive design of buildings that influenced and elegantly complemented the architecture.
Max and his practice won significant and varied recognition for their work in ensuring human comfort and minimising the energy use of buildings. Max’s final project, his own award-winning Passivhaus home, embodied the ideas and approaches he had championed throughout his career, and became the first home to achieve net zero carbon in line with the UKGBC’s Framework.
This exhibition presents a curated collection of drawings, models, original letters and videos from Max’s life and career. Through seminal projects from the last 50 years, the exhibition explores many of his key ideas and their impact on the design of the built environment.
We bring buildings to life with beautiful engineering.
For over 50 years, Max Fordham has worked with the world’s leading architects on some of the world’s greatest buildings. From our offices in London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol we deliver low-carbon, low-energy buildings that keep artificial interventions to the absolute minimum.
Our portfolio includes a diverse mix of RIBA Stirling Prize winners, net zero carbon ‘firsts’, Passivhaus pioneers, and innovative decarbonisation projects.